Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food, although that’s certainly a main attraction. The festive feast boasts as many traditions as our diverse country itself. The following cities offer different takes on dinner, with a side of unique culture thrown in, to remind eaters and holiday revelers what Thanksgiving is all about.
It’s always a good time to go to New York, and fall is just wonderful. With the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade kicking off the holiday season, three million spectators line the streets to view the annual spectacle filled with marching bands, floats, gigantic balloons, and celebrities galore.
If large crowds don’t appeal to you, head up to the American Museum of Natural History, where the massive parade balloons are inflated the night before the big day. The Marriott Times Square is an excellent home base for viewing from your hotel room, while numerous retailers unveil holiday sales and holiday display windows on Black Friday. You’ll need to make dinner reservations well in advance, using the online menus and reservation services on Open table. Why not try something completely new – and spend the holiday in Little Italy, The Village or Chinatown, or take in the city views by water with a Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise.
New Orleans mixes culture and cuisine year ‘round, which makes it the perfect place to experience Thanksgiving with a Mardis Gras twist.
Ever heard of the Turducken? This decadent dish is like a Russian nesting doll, with a chicken stuffed inside a duck, inside a turkey. Deep-fried turkey is also on the menu. Many restaurants, like the classic Bombay Club in the French Quarter, stay open offering traditional New Orleans fare, Thanksgiving style. The four-day Bayou Classic has music, football and a Thanksgiving Day parade that starts in the French Market and ends at the Mercedes-Benz Dome. The Celebration in the Oaks at City Park begins on Friday, and spectators can walk or ride a train across 25 acres with hundreds of thousands of holiday lights – a spectacular display.
Home of the first Thanksgiving feast, Plymouth hosts the holy grail of fall celebrations. Located just 45 minutes south of Boston, the town steps back in time to relive the historical first dinner in 1621. Pilgrims, soldiers and Native Americans roam the streets November 17th-19th during America’s Hometown Thanksgiving.
Modern-day visitors can explore the historic waterfront, experience the annual Illuminate event, wander around the Harvest Market or attend sessions at the Wampanoag Pavilion while interpreters explain the realities surrounding the first Thanksgiving. Saturday boasts one of the best Thanksgiving Day parades in the country, with floats chronologically illustrating each century from the 17th-21st. Hearts will be filled with patriotism when military bands, drum, fife, pipe and bugle corps play music honoring our armed forces.
For a traditional Thanksgiving feast, Plimoth Plantation offers a seated dinner as well as a traditional buffet (reservations are available starting in June). More than having a fancy dinner with Pilgrim role players and Native interpreters, you’ll be able to explore a traditional 17th-century village, the Wampaoag Homesite, The Plimoth Grist Mill, and take a ride on a replica of the Mayflower II.
Santa Fe, NM
You won’t want to miss the annual Southwestern Association for Indian Arts Winter Indian Market. Held the weekend after Thanksgiving, this exciting event features more than 200 artists, dancers and musical groups in addition to all the world-renowned museums and art galleries Santa Fe has to offer. Friday evening, locals gather in the plaza to watch the annual tree lighting.
For the more outdoor-inclined, Ski Santa Fe opens on Thanksgiving every year for slope sliding before feasting. La Posada is history itself, housed in a structure built in the 1880s. Its tranquil setting combines the modern world with history – all just steps away from the city center.
Thanksgiving dinner is available with a Southwestern flair at La Luminaria. “Additional Santa Fe inspired accents include tables crafted from local, reclaimed wood, throw pillows made from Native American trader blankets and local artwork that reflects the authentic New Mexico spirit.”
Going out of state for your Thanksgiving celebration? How far are you traveling and where to?
*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Lyndsay Meyer and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
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